Small businesses and disaster survivors will see increased federal support following a federally declared natural disaster.
Citing an increased frequency of natural disasters, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said the agency finalized a rule to increase support, effective for all disasters declared on or after July 31.
“The Biden-Harris Administration has prioritized maximizing resources for disaster survivors so that they can successfully recover and build resilience to the effects of climate change that have led to more frequent and costly natural disasters,” Guzman said.
“The SBA’s disaster loan program rule modifications will ensure more flexible and affordable disaster loans are available for small businesses, nonprofits, renters, and homeowners,” Guzman added.
Bailey DeVries, associate administrator for Investment and Innovation and acting associate administrator for Capital Access, said, “For the first time in nearly 30 years, accounting for decades of inflation and rising construction costs, SBA is more than doubling the caps for its home disaster loan program”.
Increasing the loan limits ensures that communities have access to sufficient funding to help them rebuild homes, replace personal property, and reopen businesses when disasters strike. DeVries said.
“SBA’s bold new actions continue to reshape our disaster enterprise by unleashing more capital to help devastated communities rebuild and expanding avenues to mitigate against future damage in the face of increasingly frequent and catastrophic disasters,” said Fransisco Sanchez Jr., associate administrator, SBA’s Office of Disaster Recovery and Resilience.
“While bringing the whole of SBA to the effort and inextricably tying recovery to resilience, SBA’s team is also boosting its presence in the field to lead from the ground up and ensure we are meeting the priorities of each community,” Sanchez said.
In 2022, Guzman announced that SBA would waive the interest rate for the first year and extend the initial payment deferment period automatically to 12 months for disasters declared on or after Sept. 21, 2022, through Sept. 30, 2023.
This new rule makes the change permanent and means SBA will continue to provide relief to disaster loan borrowers by waiving interest and payments for the first year for all disaster loans beyond Sept. 30.